BATAVIA – A fast start is always important in just about any game.
As the Batavia boys basketball team opened its DuKane Conference schedule hosting Wheaton North on Friday, the Bulldogs came out scalding.
Batavia scored the game’s first nine points, all by way of the 3-pointer, and never looked back in a convincing 55-34 victory to remain unbeaten.
Trent Tousana hit the first of those 3-pointers, followed by back-to-back long balls from Alex Taylor to force a Wheaton North timeout at the 4:36 mark of the opening quarter.
“Good shooting helps out a lot,” Batavia coach Jim Nazos said. “We knew [Wheaton North] was going to try and come at us hard defensively, but I think our guys did a nice job of moving the ball and finding the open guy.”
Charlie Saul added a 3-pointer of his own not long after for Batavia (5-0, 1-0 DuKane Conference), which gave the Bulldogs a 12-1 advantage. From the 3:52 mark of the first quarter, Batavia never led by less than double figures the remainder of the night.
Overall for the game, Batavia shot 10-for-24 from behind the arc, while Wheaton North (2-3, 0-1) saw only four shots from the field find the net in the first half, all from beyond the arc.
“It was a really good start to the game,” said Tousana, who finished with a game-high 17 points. “We just wanted to go out there and bury them right away and show them what Batavia basketball is all about… We have a lot of shooters and get a lot of open looks through our offense.”
As impressive as the offensive start was, the Batavia defense forced 12 turnovers in the opening half and held the Falcons to just 19% shooting (4-of-21) in the first 16 minutes Friday night.
In fact, The Falcons did not make their first two-point attempt until the 6:40 mark of the third quarter.
“I think we were just really physical with them,” said Taylor, who finished 4-for-6 from 3-point range in his 12-point effort. “I think we fought through screens well also. I think we just made everything difficult for them tonight and that was key.”
After winning its own hosted Thanksgiving tournament, Batavia continued to build in multiple aspects of Friday’s win.
“The goal is to keep building here,” Nazos added. “Having [the fast start] happen was great, but we can’t hang our hats on that. I thought tonight was a great team win. I thought we really moved the ball well, made good decisions and really thought tonight was a great team win against a quality opponent.”
Despite a slow first half, point-wise, Tousana made his impact last after halftime. His 11 points in the third quarter outscored Wheaton North (11-7) by himself.
His final bucket of the night gave the Bulldogs their largest lead, 50-23, before he was removed to get some Batavia subs into the game.
“I just wanted to keep attacking,” Tousana said. “When each shot goes in, you continue to gain confidence. I saw them going in during that third quarter, so I just kept attacking.”
No Wheaton North player reached double figures in scoring as the Falcons were led by Eamon Kane’s six points.
Ethan Ivan also reached double figures for Batavia, scoring all 10 of his points in the first half.